Author: Diane Stewart, Enable Outreach Specialist
How do you create a labor force abundant in potential for advancement and innovation?
You make room for opportunity and allow for diverse perspectives to shape the future.
In 1988, the United States took a step in this promising direction by declaring October as National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM), recognizing the contributions of workers with disabilities and raising awareness surrounding the value of a diverse and inclusive workforce.
Celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2018, NDEAM highlights the wealth of backgrounds and viewpoints that comprise America’s labor force, and reminds us of the benefits we all experience as a result of advocating for opportunity. This year’s NDEAM theme is "America’s Workforce: Empowering All."
If you’re looking to get involved and spread awareness of NDEAM this October, here are some great tips from the United States Department of Labor:
- Review Your Current Work Policy: Empower yourself with the know-how necessary to advocate for a fair and just workplace by reading up on your employer’s work policy and confirm their commitment to inclusivity.
- Social Media Promotion: Actively post on your favorite social channels throughout the month (and beyond!) about #NDEAM to raise awareness. Sharing through social networks has a tidal wave effect and even one post has the potential to reach millions. Need some help getting started? Check out this suggested language for ideas.
- Use Visuals: Post the 2018 NDEAM poster throughout community centers and at local businesses to help spread awareness surrounding disability inclusion in the workforce. This year’s poster is available for download at www.dol.gov.
- Get Local: Reach out to organizations such as Alabama Governor’s Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities (AGCEPD) and the Alabama Disabilities Advocacy Program (ADAP), which have made a commitment to advocate for individuals with disabilities.
While NDEAM is recognized during the month of October, it’s important to ensure disability employment awareness practices are implemented year-round. For additional information on how you can support NDEAM all twelve months of the year, visit your local organizations’ websites or check out the U.S. Department of Labor’s ‘Beyond NDEAM’ ideas for ongoing support.